Thursday, August 02, 2007

Back To Complain Some More

The paper’s have been tolling the dog-days- and I gotta admit, I having nothing to say about Donovan facing his first “live” rush. So maybe it was good to be away for a bit.

Easing back into things, the Phillies 15-10 July completed their comeback to relevance- erasing on paper the remnants of their brutal start. To come back from vacation and find them just one back in the Wild Card was pretty satisfying. But good things happen is baseball when you play tight on a west coast trip, followed by drilling perennial weak sisters Washington and Pittsburgh. That is why getting a split with the Cubs this afternoon is important. Three tries to get a split result- you have to get one. Play-off teams get road splits, average teams do not.

I think again the one guy who really has got to get some credit for this- and it will kill Phillies fans who have been braying for his head to say so- is Charlie Manuel. I was never a big fan of Charlie- let’s call it neutral. But let’s face it- the manager has kept the guys moving forward for about a year now: fire sales, injuries, bad starts, mis-cast players- the team just keeps playing. Lose three of the first four on a key west coast visit, come back to salvage the last three. They can be bad- but they just don’t tank.

The book on Charlie has always been he isn’t the best game-day leader. He makes mistakes, he plays weird hunches. But guys absolutely play for him- and man, no matter what has been thrown at the Phillies the last eleven months, the club definitely shows up.

And we all know that under Nick Leyva or Jim Fergosi this club would have been left for dead May 1st.

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